This weekend while visiting my family in Amarillo, I had a conversation with a friend of my sister in law while our little boys played in my parents' front yard. She was asking about how I started writing this blog and my response (about ministry and moving and discerning what I most valued and most needed to do) led us to a discussion about women and vocation.
She shared about her own realization after having had her son that she wants to pursue counseling. She’s going back to school for counseling now and figuring out how to make it work with an almost two-year-old.
She said something I can’t stop thinking about: That motherhood does something powerful to women, that she has seen over and over how it sharpens our vision for our calling. She spoke about how the courage that comes with bearing and raising children opens up the possibilities of what we can do, of what we most long to do.
I can’t stop thinking of that, resting in that.
What if that’s the truth? What all that struggle I had with myself after becoming a stay at home mom, when I felt like a loser in yoga pants, when I felt like I was failing to contribute to society…what if I had known the secret that having kids doesn’t have to slow us down in terms of career or calling or purpose in work?
What if I had known that all along motherhood was an invitation: To discover the depth of my bravery, the fullness of my mind, the possibility that God had to bring me to this stage in order to unveil the next piece of my life work?
Whatever work and calling means to you: Whether it is fulltime work for your family, whether it is full time work in an outside career, or whether it’s something in between, I’m learning that one of motherhood’s gifts is how it forces us to be brave in all the noblest, most humble ways.
When other lives demand all of you, you are free enough to discover that you have always had a lot more to give than you ever imagined.
Of course, God doesn’t have to use motherhood to shape us for our life-work. I know you all aren’t all mothers. (Or even women, thankfully!) But I love the idea that for any of us (regardless of our life-stage or choices or opportunities) giving our lives away to others, sacrificing time and service on behalf of those in need around us, may not result in our being used up. Miraculously, it may actually result in our being fine-tuned, sharpened, remade for something new and powerful.
What do you think? If you’re a mom, have you discovered something new about yourself and your life-direction through motherhood? If you’re not a mom, would you agree that service can also open up the same sort of revelation?